Yes, that’s right. Google and Barnes & Noble are making plans to join forces and take on Amazon. Why Google and Barnes & Noble though? While it may sound strange at first, it makes quite a bit of sense when you sit down and think about it. Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world. Between their stellar online retail service, popular Kindle line of e-readers and selection of Android-based tablets and smartphones with their Fire devices, the company has its foot in pretty much all markets. Barnes & Noble doesn’t like Amazon because they’re hampering the success of Barnes & Noble’s Nook line of products and services. Google isn’t too fond of Amazon because they’re stealing potential customers of Google services with their Fire tablets and Fire Phone. Reports have recently come out, confirming that Google and Barnes & Noble are teaming up with one another to tackle one of Amazon’s most successful and popular areas: Books.
If you live in Manhattan, San Francisco Bay Area or Los Angeles, good news is coming your way. Starting this Thursday, if you buy a book in one of locations listed above from Barnes & Noble, you’ll get quality same-day shipping, courtesy of Google Shopping Express. This isn’t the first time that Google has partnered with a company to deliver same-day shipping. Google Shopping originated just about a year ago, and has already partnered with Staples, Target, Walgreens, Costco and more to deliver orders of products to customers within mere hours of placing an order for them. Adding Barnes & Noble to this list could help the company see lots of potential growth. The once uber-successful bookstore has been facing hard times for the past couple of years. Barnes & Noble has already close 63 of its brick-and-mortar locations in just the past five years, and if business doesn’t start picking up soon, more are bound to follow. It’s Nook line hasn’t been doing too hot either, as the company reported that it dropped 22% in quarter four when compared to its most current earnings report. With the addition of same-day delivery with their online sales, Barnes & Noble now has the potential they need to start growing their company back up again.
Tom Fallows, Google’s director of products for Shopping Express, said that, “Many of our shoppers have told us that when they read a review of a book or get a recommendation from a friend, they want a really easy way to buy that book and start reading it tonight. We think it’s a natural fit to create a great experience connecting shoppers with their town’s Barnes & Noble.” This is great news for Barnes & Noble, but it is also worth noting that Amazon was quick to expand their same-day delivery services to now ten cities, rather than their previous four. Despite this, it looks like Google could have the upper-hand when it comes to shipping cost. For Amazon’s same-day shipping rate, Prime subscribers can get it for $5.99, while standard customers have to pay $9.98 for the service. With Google Shopping Express, subscribers will get their orders sent to them that day for free, while non-subscribers will pay $4.99 for the service. No official pricing for Shopping Express has been detailed as of yet.
Is this the move that will save Barnes & Noble from their pattern of failure? Only time will tell.